The Pygmy Hippopotamus, Choeropsis liberiensis, is listed as ‘ENDANGERED’ on the IUCN Red List of Threatened SpeciesTM. Considerably less common than its larger relative, the Pygmy Hippo is restricted to the West African countries of Liberia, Côte d’Ivoire, Guinea and Sierra Leone.
Over the past 100 years, the Pygmy Hippo’s habitat has declined dramatically as a result of logging, farming, and human settlement. As deforestation continues and their habitat becomes more fragmented, newly accessible populations are coming under increasing pressure from hunters. One population in Nigeria, comprising a distinct subspecies (C. liberiensis heslopi), may have already been driven to extinction.
Although a number of conservation initiatives are ongoing, without more information on the status and threats faced by this species and a coordinated conservation strategy the Pygmy Hippo may disappear from the wild in the not too distant future. At present there is a good captive population, which has bred successfully and has doubled in size over the last 25 years, potentially providing a last-ditch safeguard against total extinction.
To learn more about the Pygmy Hippo, click here. Or visit the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species™ by clicking their logo below.
To learn more about the Bush Warriors “Species of the Day” feature, please click here and read up on our initiative to raise awareness about the loss of earth’s biodiversity.